back in 1950 (actually it was early july this year) ashley and i hopped in the bumble beast and headed east, and a bit north as well to city of rocks idaho. this was our first long test of the beast and she performed beautifully. we left after work around midnight and traded shifts driving and sleeping throughout the night. the sun rose as we passed through wells, nevada. there we both grabbed a catnap parked outside mcdonalds while we used their wifi to download a movie. does mickeyd’s wifi make you fat?
sunrise over i-80
we continued on to the city and arrived early in the afternoon in time for another nap. the pups (you remember sir fartsalot and chief poopsinside) were ready for action though.
bumble beast and crew in the upper breadloaves picnic area
we headed around the corner to decadent wall where we could climb and the pups could run
me on twilight (5.6)
ashley being chased by twilight on twilight
the book says walk off to the left. i was supposed to be even further left but no biggie
while i was climbing down the second time, ashley was soloing up something nearby
how do i get down from here?
turned out that night someone had poached our camp site. no biggie though since there were plenty available. we found one and had a good night’s sleep. the next day the sun rose.
the pups were anxious to get started
twin pups and twin sisters
3 hours later hutchski was up too so we went for a bike ride to climb at site 18. site 18 offers great shade most of the time and a nice progression of climbs from 5.7-5.10.
ashley on skin the cat (5.7)
belayer’s view of ashley on skin the cat.
me clipping on skin the cat (5.7)
next up was looker, a 5.8 that ashley led and i top roped. them we moved over to bomber, fun 5.9 we both led.
yours truly on bomber (5.9)
we headed up the road to the parking lot rock area and hiked around to the east face of window rock. i tried the climb in the pic below last year with my daughters but moved left just below this crux. at the time i thought the guide listed it as a 5.6 and was disappointed i backed off on such an easy grade. turns out it’s a 5.7 that’s not in the guide so i feel a little better now.
me on drunken cowboy (5.7).
the anchor at the top of drunken cowboy works for several climbs to the left as well
ashley on pure pleasure (5.6)
we originally came to parking lot rock to climb some routes on it, but when we got there we weren’t happy with the belay ledge for puppy safety. after the hike to window rock and some running around we figured they’d be ok in the beast while we climbed a couple long single pitches. plus we were able to set up the camera in the front seat with the timer to take pics. unfortunately the focus was off just a tad. norma’s book was listed as an excellent 5.5 trad route and delay of game was supposed to be fun 5.8 sport route. both were closer to 5.7 than their given ratings. they were both a blast too.
me leading norma’s book (5.5 in the guide, 5.6+ on mountain project)
we set up a top rope with two ropes for delay of game. it was one of the easiest 5.8’s we’ve ever done.
ashley on delay of game (5.8)
me on delay of game
after climbing for the day we had to see what all the hooplah was about window arch. it’s a short, maybe 150 yards, hike from one of the camping areas and well worth it. especially if you have a dog to look over you.
for some reason this area always seems to have beautiful skies in the morning and at night
the bumble beast in the evening light
morning rays light up today’s objective, elephant rock
these two are obviously very excited
each morning we’d get up to watch the kangaroo boxing matches.
wheat thin is a super popular route. fortunately we arrived early and got a lap in.
i moved the anchors over to the top of just say no (5.9) and sinsemilla (5.8). both are fairly runout but on top rope, who cares?
ashley on sinsemilla (5.8)
after ashley i top roped sinsemilla as quickly as possible so i could set up the rappel and get down in the thunderous downpour. the day’s climbing was over but this was exactly why we brought the bikes. we started from the camp site and headed up to the breadloaves which is also the start of the tea kettle trail. behind us in the picture is some of the previous day’s climbing. between us is window rock and to the right of ashley is parking lot rock. norma’s book is the obvious corner. a little while later we lost the trail and ended up doing the mountain bike version of bushwhacking.
tea kettle trail with climbing in the background
the next day was our last so we decided to see what castle rocks park was all about. partly for the climbing and partly because we heard they had hot showers which would be welcome before the long drive home. they definitely have climbing. this is a very well bolted route on the south face of the main castle rock
ashley on high times (5.7)
it’s a two pitch climb that can easily be done in one pitch if you have enough draws. the good news is you can skip plenty of bolts if you want.
me on high times
after lunch we decided it would be fun to pull on some stuff beyond our ability.
me on cryin’ shame (11b). i did the indirect 11a version